Statement on Bourke Street Incident

Yesterday’s incident in the Bourke Street Mall is a chilling reminder of how quickly things can escalate and has highlighted the clear need for Daniel Andrews to return frontline police redeployed to the New South Wales border back to the streets across the state.

Just before 5 pm on Thursday afternoon, a vehicle seeking to evade police travelled down Bourke Street Mall before the vehicle was dumped and identified by a member of the public in an Albert Park underground carpark.

Both offenders remain unaccounted for, even more than 17 hours after the incident – a fact that will be deeply concerning for many Victorians.

Serious questions as to the resourcing of the responding Victoria Police units remain unanswered.

This incident will be deeply concerning to many Victorians and with both offenders remaining unaccounted for more than 18 hours after this incident – serious questions as to the resourcing of responding Victoria Police units remain unanswered.

This also follows two separate illegal drag racing meets within a week in St Kilda and Dandenong with further questions raised about police response times due to lack of resources.

This incident comes as more around 850 frontline officers continue to parole 40 checkpoints along the NSW border, despite Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt stating earlier this week that ongoing policing of the border was of “pretty limited value”.

This ongoing deployment at the NSW border comes in addition to around 800 officers being involved in hotel quarantine and has resulted in significant resourcing issues which has seen the closure of the Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood police stations over recent days.

With NSW having recorded no new COVID-19 cases for 12 days and as of tonight, no red zones in the country, Daniel Andrews must listen to the calls of the community and frontline police and return officers redeployed to the NSW border to regular duties across the state.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police & Community Safety, David Southwick MP:

“Daniel Andrews’ go-it-alone border closure has seen fewer police on our streets, in local communities and available to respond to incidents such as these.

“By dragging his heels on the hard NSW border closure, Daniel Andrews has left frontline police dangerously stretched and placed the safety of ordinary Victorians at risk.

“The best policing is proactive policing and the Andrews Labor Government must return frontline officers to local communities where they are needed.

“Community safety must not be another casualty of COVID-19 and the Andrews Labor Government must and return frontline officers to local communities.”

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